AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline trying to make deals

AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline, both of which are based in the United Kingdom and have big operations in the Philadelphia region, were busy in the last few days trying to make deals to add external pieces to their pharmaceutical portfolios.

Late Friday night, AstraZeneca announced that it would pay $3.4 billion to Amylin Pharmaceuticals - after Amylin is acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb in a multi-pronged deal that amounts to about $7 billion.

Basically, AstraZeneca will share expenses and profits from Amylin with Bristol-Myers Squibb on Amylin's diabetes drugs. A link to the Friday night blog post is here.

The Amylin sale was spurred in part by Carl Icahn, who holds nearly 10 percent of Amylin's stock and urged management to find a buyer. Reuters analyzed his efforts and found the return might not have been worth his time, energy and legal fees. The link to that story is here.

Meanwhile, GSK said it is continuing its now-contentious quest to take over Human Genome Sciences, which is based in Rockville, Md. In April, GSK said it was making a friendly offer of $13 per share for HGS, which amounts to $2.6 billion.

HGS management and board members were not receptive, claiming the offer undervalued the company and that it planned to seek other offers. The problem is GSK already has partnerships with HGS for the top drugs in the HGS portfolio, so any other suitor would only get a portion of those potential profits. But "potential" is the key word, while costs would be real and immediate.

On Friday, GSK said it has extended its tender offer to July 20, which is four days after HGS's deadline for outsiders to submit proposals to buy HGS.

HGS said in a statement it will continue its search for a better offer.

"We are committed to completing our exploration of strategic alternatives as expeditiously as possible and in a manner that ensures that HGS stockholders have the benefit of a complete and fair process," HGS said in its statement. "The HGS Board of Directors recommends that HGS stockholders reject GSK’s tender offer and not tender any of their shares to GSK."

The GSK statement is here.

The Human Genome Sciences statement is here.

The AstraZeneca statement on the Bristol-Myers Squibb deal with Amylin is here.